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From: "Roy C. Lackey" <rclackey@stic.net>
Subject: (urth) "Kevin Malone" defence
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 17:59:50 

    Re. Peter Westlake and Tony Ellis "not buying":

    It is difficult to defend my theory against Tony's without betraying his
trust, so I will here argue but one point that is central to my reading;
that there must be some link between KM's past - his childhood -, and his
"present" to account for his current circumstance. To have him become
involved, ex nihilo, with The Pines, I find difficult to accept and also
    The key, to me, lies with the narrator's question about why KM entered
the orphanage. One doesn't normally ask such a question at all; it is
understood; because the individual in question is an orphan. Which makes the
question's qualifier, "... or lose their places?", all the more relevant.
That a child could be placed in an orphanage, not because he is an orphan,
but because his parents were no longer in a position to financially maintain
him, is clearly indicated. Such an unusual phrasing would call attention to
itself even in a story by someone other than Wolfe. When Wolfe does it he is
calling loudly.
    This, as earlier outlined, establishes the link between the estate and
KM's childhood. If there were nothing to connect them, then we are left with
the prospect of KM being, seemingly at random, drawn into the whole affair,
by whatever agency, a tenet unsupported by the text. My theory, if not in
all its particulars, at least has some textual support, previously cited. He
and his parents lived on the estate until the time of the murder/suicide.
Why else did they have to leave, in such dire circumstance, if not in
consequence thereof?


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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